Super Bowl 50 to Boost San Francisco's Restaurant & Hospitality Industry


NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- According to PwC US, direct spending by the National Football League (NFL), businesses, visitors, and media on area lodging, transportation, food and beverage, entertainment, business services, and other hospitality and tourism activities related to Super Bowl 50 is expected to total more than $220 million. This estimate is based on a proprietary analysis that considers characteristics unique to this year's event such as the participating teams, attributes of the Bay Area, national economic conditions, and scheduled corporate and other ancillary activities.


Excluded from the analysis is the so-called "multiplier effect," which accounts for "indirect" impacts, such as a concession company's purchase of goods from local producers and manufacturers, and "induced" impacts, which occur when the income levels of residents rise as a result of increased economic activity and a portion of the increased income is re-spent within the local economy.

The following chart illustrates the estimated direct spending associated with the event, dating back to Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diegoin 2003, the last Super Bowl hosted in California.

"In addition to the Bay Area's core destination offerings, hubs of Super Bowl programming located throughout the Bay Area will provide visitors with a bevy of activities to participate in throughout the week leading up to the game," said Adam Jones, Director, Sports and Tourism Sector, PwC US.  "Although the Pro Bowl is rotating back to Hawaii, Super Bowl City will open earlier than in years past to coincide with the NFL Experience, and Media Day will be held a day earlier, all of which will expand the average length of stay and overall impact."


The 50th edition of the Super Bowl marks the return of the event to the west coast's Bay Area for the first time in the modern era and toCalifornia – which is hosting its 12th game including the inaugural event in 1967 – after a 12 year absence. The return to California, specifically the San Francisco Bay Area, will allow regular attendees of the Super Bowl to experience fresh sights and attractions; yielding a level of direct spend which, when combined with relative destination costs, should continue the upward trend that started following Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis in 2012.

Continued Jones, "The Bay Area, like New York/New Jersey which hosted Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, is home to a high concentration of businesses that activate events and activities around the Super Bowl. With the game in the Bay Area, the local economy will retain dollars that would otherwise be exported to other cities, resulting in what is projected to be the event's highest direct spend level, on a nominal basis, and the second largest inflation-adjusted output next to Super Bowl XLI in South Florida in 2007."

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Five Hotel Trends to Watch in 2016


NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Virtuoso®, the global network of luxury travel agencies, is demonstrating that it has its finger on the pulse of what upscale travelers desire with the recent expansion of its Hotels & Resorts program. In the last year, Virtuoso added 95 new properties, bringing the total portfolio to more than 1,100 hotels in 100 countries. Of this total, 468, or 43 percent, have chosen to partner exclusively with the network, affirming the network's leadership position in the industry. The network has grown strategically to position itself at the forefront of luxury hospitality trends.


At 24 years, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is the longest running and most prestigious program available to consumers. Designed to benefit leisure travelers, the program offers benefits worth up to $450 per stay that are only available through a Virtuoso travel advisor. Standards such as breakfast, room upgrades and early check-in/late check-out are matched with value-added extras that enhance the overall experience like spa treatments, dinners, airport transfers or rounds of golf.

Always ahead of the curve, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts has expanded purposefully to provide travelers with hotel options thataccommodate their ever-changing needs. Here are five trends shaping the growth of the esteemed portfolio of hotels, resorts, spas, lodges, camps, villas and even private islands.

  1. Larger Suites and Villas: Multigenerational travel is the hottest trend of 2016, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report. Hotels are responding to the demand for group lodging by offering extremely large suites and villas. In Virtuoso's portfolio: an 11-bedroom suite opening this year at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman that will be the biggest in the Caribbean, the largest penthouse suite in the U.S. at New York City's The Mark at 12,000 square feet, and Four Seasons Nevis offering guests 40 villas.
  2. Experiences that Create a Sense of Place: Voyagers today place great value on experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime. Virtuoso's collection of hotels and resorts offer an array of authentic experiences that are distinctive to their destinations. As a result, Virtuoso clients can enjoy everything from world-class concerts at Schloss Elmau, a historic Bavarian castle; to a Western cattle drive at The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming; to a private coffee-tasting experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica.
  3. Lifestyle Hotels: As Millennials blaze a new trail in the luxury travel world, Virtuoso has grown by selecting properties appealing to that demographic. Exciting brands such as Andaz and W Hotels are represented in the portfolio, which has also recently welcomed its first Conrad hotel (in the Algarve in Portugal) and first Edition hotel (in New York City).
  4. Virtuoso Preview: Luxury travelers want to be the first to discover the globe's hottest new properties and if they can get exclusive access and perks, even better. Virtuoso offers just that through its pioneering Preview program, which introduces emerging or reemerging hotels and resorts to the clientele of its elite travel advisors. Six years after its birth, Preview continues to support properties from world-class luxury brands during their pre-opening phase and debut. Current participants include the Ritz Paris and Faena Hotel Miami Beach.
  5. Broadening Global Appeal: In the past year, Virtuoso has expanded its network of worldwide members, adding its initial travel agencies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as growing its presence in Europe. To get ahead of the demand for destinations that appeal to those markets, the Hotels & Resorts program has invited properties in strategic locations to join the network. New hotels in Cyprus (popular with Europeans) and Paraty, Brazil (a favorite of South Americans) are just two examples of how Virtuoso is catering to this diversity.

Luxury travelers can acquaint themselves with all the Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts offerings in the hot-off-the-presses 2016 Virtuoso Best of the Best directory. At a record-setting 632 pages, the new Best of the Best features every hotel in the portfolio, offering insider tips on how to enjoy each to its fullest.

A new feature this year highlights another key travel trend: the changing way travelers are shopping for lodging. Virtuoso created Curated Experiences to give travelers at-a-glance information about a property's room style, experiences and atmosphere. If they're looking for a contemporary resort that's close to the beach, offers a wellness program and has a casual vibe, now they can easily find it. Curated Experiences is another first-to-market advantage for the Hotels & Resorts program.

Best of the Best also showcases unique experiences in each region, giving readers 60 pages of creative ideas. Those include a private after-hours tour of the Vatican City Museum, dining with a member of Bhutan's parliament, and blending your own wine in Chile.

Best of the Best is currently being distributed to the homes of 150,000 of Virtuoso's best clients, as selected by their advisor. To view the directory online, click here. For more information on Virtuoso or to find a Virtuoso travel advisor, visit

About Virtuoso Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 380 agency members with more than 11,400 elite travel advisors in over 30 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world's best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $15.5 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit

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Hospitality Consolidation and Other Trends for 2016



Guy Bentley, CEO Worldwide of Glion Institute of Higher Education takes a look at the current state of the hospitality industry and shares his views on predicted 2016 industry trends.

Travel & tourism industry forecast The worldwide travel & tourism industry continued to see strong growth throughout 2015 and international tourist arrivals are predicted to grow by 3-4% per year and reach 1.8 billion in 2030, according to the UNWTO report.

The UNWTO long-term outlook Tourism Towards 2030 sees substantial potential for further growth coming from emerging economy destinations in Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, growing at double the rate (+4.4% per year) than advanced economy destinations (+2.2% per year).

Consolidation of major hotel management companies The news hit the global hospitality industry with a bang in November 2015, when Marriot International announced its USD 12.2 billion bid to take over Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide to form the world’s biggest hotel management company with more than 5,500 owned or franchised hotels with 1.1 million rooms around the world.

The run for hotel consolidation does not stop there, with French AccorHotels taking over FRHI Hotels and Resorts with luxury brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel for USD 2.9 billion. This boost in merger and acquisition activity in the hospitality sector is a new development, implying increased competition and a run to secure market shares, especially in the aforementioned emerging destinations.

“Asset Light” Real Estate in hospitality In the past, growing a hotel company required enormous capital investment, but over the last two decades, many hotel groups have expanded by adopting an “asset light” model of managing, rather than owning, properties, or even just franchising their brand to a third-party operator against a fee.

This development brings new opportunities to our graduates with a strong background in finance and accounting and who are looking to join a financial institution, an asset management company or an investment fund. These new representatives of hotel owners are increasingly relying on hospitality graduates to manage their hotel portfolios.

In this regard, Glion is proud to offer strong business-focused programs, such as the BA specialization in Real Estate Finance, the Glion MBA program and the recently launched MSc in International Hospitality Finance.

Growing skills gap and importance of practical experience Due to the continuous growth of the labour-intensive and productivity-reliant travel and tourism industry, the sector is expected to experience some difficulties in providing enough qualified talent for the forecasted 80 million new jobs created over the next ten years, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

To make matters worse, employers are hesitant to employ graduates for their entry-level positions without having previously worked for their organisations, either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work.

At Glion, students are required to complete two semester-long internships as part of their bachelor degree program and often join one of these companies after graduation, by which time an average of 86% have one or multiple job offers.

Challenging climate for luxury brands Worldwide sales of personal luxury goods have tripled over the last 20 years and were mostly unaffected by economic trends. However, future growth is forecast at a slower four to six per cent and bound to face new challenges in terms of consumer behaviour and demands, shifting demographics and new distribution channels.

According to Milton Pedraza, CEO of consultancy Luxury Institute, low client retention rates show the need for luxury brands to build better relationships with customers, but many brands are struggling to inspire, empower and compensate store associates to become long-term relationship builders.

With the creation of a new bachelor degree specialization in Luxury Brand Management, Glion is preparing hospitality talent with strong customer engagement skills and specialized knowledge on luxury branding.

Together with its industry partners, Glion keeps a close eye on the hospitality business and monitors developments and innovations. As an educator, we must also track the shifting needs of our students and adapt to the changing educational landscape. Balancing these expectations illustrates Glion’s complex approach to preparing students to succeed in today’s constantly evolving hospitality industry, which was recently recognized at the Worldwide Hospitality School Awards 2015 where Glion won the award for Best Hospitality Management School.

(via PRWeb)


How to Answer the Most Common Hotel Job Interview Questions



We previously went over how to answer the most common restaurant job interview questions. To continue on with the series, today we will be reviewing how to approach the questions typically asked in a hotel job interview. Do keep in mind that there can be some overlap between restaurants and hotels, since after all, both are part of in the hospitality industry.

What do you know about our company?

Again, research is a must when preparing for an interview. There are a lot of people that work in the hospitality field, and they are proud of what they do. Hotel hiring managers are aware of that, so when they are looking to recruit, they want to find someone who is also as passionate about the job they are applying for and the company that they will be working for. Things that you may want to know in advance include, names of senior staff members or decision makers, big accomplishments that the hotel has achieved, and such.

Why do you want to work for our hotel?

Most likely this will be a follow-up to the prior question. HR wants to see if you will be a good fit with the company, and whether your values align with the organization's culture and vision. Be genuine when replying, and mention key items that you look for in a workplace, for example, the hotel's management style, treatment and service towards customers, reputation in the industry, amongst other responses. You can possibly talk about how the company is known to thoroughly train and guide employees to become successful hospitality professional.

How would you handle guest problems/complaints?

This question is designed to test your customer service skills, and how well you can handle difficult situations. This is a great opportunity for you to share a story of a time when you were able to calmly deal with an unhappy customer. You can also say that it was a valuable learning experience.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

As mentioned before, the hospitality industry is a really tight knit community, where everybody knows everybody. So oftentimes, people will leave positions for jobs that friends or family have suggested to them. That's why hiring managers prefer to take in individuals that are stable and are willing to stay with the company for a greater period of time. Let your interviewer know that you are interested in working in long-term position, and how you are not one to jump from job to job.

Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?

This is a very good question, but also somewhat challenging to answer, since it really depends. If you say 'leader,' it might mean that you are not a team player. But if you say 'follower,' it can suggest that you are not very independent, and will have to constantly rely on directions. There is no one, set-in-stone, correct answer for this, so just be honest. Explain why you chose that label, and back up your answer with some convincing and supporting words.

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Marriott International To Acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide



BETHESDA, Md. and STAMFORD, Conn., Nov. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced today that the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will create the world's largest hotel company. The transaction combines Starwood's leading lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott's strong presence in the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment, creating a more comprehensive portfolio. The merged company will offer broader choice for guests, greater opportunities for associates and should unlock additional value for Marriott and Starwood shareholders. Combined, the companies operate or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide. The combined company's pro forma fee revenue for the 12 months ended September 30, 2015 totals over $2.7 billion.

Transaction Highlights and Strategic Benefits

  • Summary of Transaction: Under the terms of the agreement, at closing, Starwood shareholders will receive 0.92 shares of Marriott International, Inc. Class A common stock and $2.00 in cash for each share of Starwood common stock. On a pro forma basis, Starwood shareholders would own approximately 37 percent of the combined company's common stock after completion of the merger using fully diluted share counts as ofSeptember 30, 2015. Total consideration to be paid by Marriott totals $12.2 billion consisting of $11.9 billion of Marriott International stock, based on the 20-day VWAP (volume weighted average price) of Marriott stock ending on November 13, 2015, and $340 million of cash, based on approximately 170 million fully diluted Starwood shares outstanding at September 30, 2015. Based on Marriott's 20-day VWAP ending November 13, 2015, the merger transaction has a current value of $72.08per Starwood share, including the $2 cash per share consideration. Starwood shareholders will separately receive consideration from the spin-off of the Starwood timeshare business and subsequent merger with Interval Leisure Group, which has an estimated value of approximately $1.3 billion to Starwood shareholders or approximately $7.80 per Starwood share, based on the 20-day VWAP of Interval Leisure Group stock ending November 13, 2015. The timeshare transaction should close prior to the Marriott-Starwood merger closing.

Total Estimated Value to Starwood Shareholders

Share Price of Marriott International, Inc.


Cash Consideration Per Share


Value of Vistana Disposition


Total Value


*Marriott 20-day VWAP ending November 13, 2015, calculated at 0.92 of $76.17

**Based on ILG 20-day VWAP ending November 13, 2015. Excludes $132M of cash consideration and reimbursement from ILG to Starwood

After adjusting for the value of consideration to be separately received by Starwood shareholders in the Vistana transaction, the merger consideration represents a premium of approximately 6 percent over the Starwood stock price using the 20-day VWAP ending November 13, 2015 and a premium of approximately 19 percent using the 20-day VWAP ending October 26, 2015 (prior to recent acquisition rumors).

  • Leveraging Operating Efficiencies: Marriott expects to deliver at least $200 million in annual cost savings in the second full year after closing. This will be accomplished by leveraging operating and G&A efficiencies.
  • Accretive to Earnings: Marriott expects the transaction to be earnings accretive by the second year after the merger, not including the impact of transaction and transition costs. Earnings will benefit from post-transaction asset sales, increased efficiencies and accelerated unit growth.
  • Significant Capital Recycling Program: Marriott expects Starwood to continue its capital recycling program, generating an estimated $1.5 to $2.0 billion of after-tax proceeds from the sale of owned hotels over the next two years. The hotels are expected to be sold subject to long-term operating agreements.
  • Continued Strong Returns to Shareholders: On a pro forma combined basis, Marriott and Starwood generated $2.7 billion in fee revenue in the 12 months ending September 2015. In 2015, Marriott expects to return at least $2.25 billion in dividends and share repurchases to shareholders. Marriott believes it can return at least as much in the first year following the merger.
  • Accelerated Global Growth: Marriott International expects to accelerate the growth of Starwood's brands, leveraging Marriott's worldwide development organization and owner and franchisee relationships. The combined company will have a broader global footprint, strengthening Marriott's ability to serve guests wherever they travel.
  • Lifestyle Leader: Starwood's first-mover advantage in the lifestyle category, along with Marriott's broad range of brands in this segment, positions the combined company as a leader in the lifestyle space. With Marriott's strong owner and franchisee relationships, the combined company expects growth of its lifestyle brands to accelerate.
  • World-Class Associates: This combination brings together two of the most talented teams in the industry. Together, they will combine their innovative ideas and service commitment to deliver unforgettable guest experiences.
  • Leading Loyalty Programs: Today, Marriott Rewards, with 54 million members, and Starwood Preferred Guest, with 21 million members, are among the industry's most-awarded loyalty programs, driving significant repeat business. They should be even stronger when the companies merge.
  • Owner and Franchisee Preference: The combined company will be able to realize increased efficiency by leveraging economies of scale in areas such as reservations, procurement and shared services. Combined sales expertise and increased account coverage should drive additional customer loyalty, increasing revenue. We expect that these enhanced efficiencies and revenue opportunities should drive improved property-level profitability as well as greater owner and franchisee preference for the combined company's brands.
  • Commitment to Management and Franchising: Marriott remains committed to its management and franchise strategy, minimizing capital investment in the business to generate attractive shareholder returns.

Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, said: "The driving force behind this transaction is growth. This is an opportunity to create value by combining the distribution and strengths of Marriott and Starwood, enhancing our competitiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace. This greater scale should offer a wider choice of brands to consumers, improve economics to owners and franchisees, increase unit growth and enhance long-term value to shareholders. Today is the start of an incredible journey for our two companies. We expect to benefit from the best talent from both companies as we position ourselves for the future. I know we'll do great things together as The World's Favorite Travel Company."

J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, said: "We have competed with Starwood for decades and we have also admired them. I'm excited we will add great new hotels to our system and for the incredible opportunities for Starwood and Marriott associates. I'm delighted to welcome Starwood to the Marriott family."

Bruce Duncan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, said: "During our comprehensive review of strategic and financial alternatives, it was clear that our talented people, world-class brands, global leadership and spirit of innovation were much admired and key drivers of our value. Our board concluded that a combination with Marriott provides the greatest long-term value for our shareholders and the strongest and most certain path forward for our company. Starwood shareholders will benefit from ownership in one of the world's most respected companies, with vast growth potential further enhanced by cost synergies.  Starwood's shareholders will also receive the value of the previously announced sale of our vacation ownership business to Interval Leisure Group, which is not part of this transaction."

Adam Aron, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis, said: "We are excited to play a vital role in the creation of the biggest and best hotel company in the world with tremendous upside potential. The combination of our two companies brings together the best in innovation, culture and execution. Our guests and customers will benefit from so many more options across 30 hotel brands, while our hotel owners and franchisees will derive value from our combined global platform and efficiencies. We are also delighted that our associates will have expanded opportunities as part of a larger organization that is consistently recognized as one of the best companies to work for in the world."

One-time transaction costs for the merger are expected to total approximately $100 to $150 million.  Transition costs are expected to be incurred over the next two years. They cannot be estimated at this time, but are expected to be meaningful.

Marriott will assume Starwood's recourse debt at the closing of the transaction. Marriott remains committed to maintaining an investment grade credit rating and to continue managing the balance sheet prudently after the merger. Marriott expects to maintain our 3.0x to 3.25x adjusted debt to adjusted EBITDAR target.

Arne Sorenson will remain President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International following the merger and Marriott's headquarters will remain in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott's Board of Directors following the closing will increase from 11 to 14 members with the expected addition of three members of the Starwood Board of Directors.

The transaction is subject to Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide shareholder approvals, completion of Starwood's planned disposition of its timeshare business, regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Assuming receipt of the necessary approvals, the parties expect the transaction to close in mid-2016.

Conference Call at 9:00 am ET on Monday, November 16, 2015

Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will jointly conduct a conference call for the investment community on Monday, November 16, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET. The call will be webcast simultaneously at Marriott's investor relations website and at Starwood's investor relations website

The telephone dial-in number for the conference call is (855) 631-5368 and for participants outside the U.S., +1 (330) 863-3283. The conference ID is 82603071. A telephone replay of the conference call will be available for two weeks. To access the replay, call (855) 859-2056 or +1 (404) 537-3406. The conference ID for the recording is 82603071.

Advisors Lazard and Citigroup are serving as financial advisors to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Deutsche Bank Securities is the financial advisor to Marriott International. Cravath, Swaine & Moore is serving as legal counsel to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is serving as legal counsel to Marriott International on the transaction.

No Offer of Solicitation The information in this communication is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to purchase, nor a solicitation of an offer to sell, subscribe for or buy any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to or in connection with the proposed transactions or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and otherwise in accordance with applicable law.

Additional Information and Where to Find It The proposed transaction will be submitted to Marriott's and Starwood's stockholders for their consideration. In connection with the proposed transaction, Marriott will file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a joint proxy statement of Marriott and Starwood that will also constitute a prospectus of Marriott. Investors and security holders are urged to read the joint proxy statement and registration statements/prospectuses and any other relevant documents filed with the SEC when they become available, because they will contain important information. Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other documents (when available) that Marriott and Starwood file with the SEC at the SEC's website at In addition, these documents may be obtained from Marriott free of charge by directing a request to, or from Starwood free of charge by directing a request to

Participants in Solicitation Marriott, Starwood, and certain of their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the proposed transaction under the rules of the SEC. Investors and security holders may obtain information regarding the names, affiliations and interests of Marriott's directors and executive officers in Marriott's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year endedDecember 31, 2014, which was filed with the SEC on February 19, 2015, and its proxy statement for its 2015 Annual Meeting, which was filed with the SEC on April 7, 2015. Information regarding the names, affiliations and interests of Starwood's directors and executive officers may be found in Starwood's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, which was filed with the SEC on February 25, 2015, and its definitive proxy statement for its 2015 Annual Meeting, which was filed with the SEC onApril 17, 2015. These documents can be obtained free of charge from the sources listed above. Additional information regarding the interests of these individuals will also be included in the joint proxy statement/prospectus regarding the proposed transaction when it becomes available.

Note on forward-looking statements: This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws, including the parties' plans for closing the transaction; the resulting impact on the size of Marriott's operations; statements concerning the benefits of the transaction, including the combined company's future financial and operating results, plans and expectations; and anticipated future events and expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the receipt of necessary consents, and other risk factors that we identify in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q. Any of these factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations we express or imply in this press release. We make these forward-looking statements as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Marriott International, Inc. Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,300 properties in 85 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $14 billion in fiscal year 2014. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands, including: The Ritz-Carlton®, Bvlgari®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels and Resorts®, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Gaylord Hotels®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Courtyard®, Residence Inn®, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, TownePlace Suites®, Protea Hotels® and MoxyHotels®. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 54 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,270 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences under the renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®,W®, Design Hotels, Westin®, Le Meridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element®, and the recently introducedTribute Portfolio™. The company also boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®). Visit for more information and stay connected @starwoodbuzz on Twitter and Instagram and

(via PR Newswire)